Published on April 9th, 2015 | by Noel Thorne0
Nameless #3 Review
Bad things are ahead for our plucky crew of sigil-daubed astronauts as they approach the “evil” asteroid Xibalba; as if anything else could be expected when they’re greeted with a giant skull formation on the surface! That’s just the start for the doomed team as Nameless #3 is full of Lovecraftian nightmares lurking in the quiet darkness of space. Shall we enter? YesIthinksolet’s!
Most of the issue is spent with our crew of astronauts and yet, three issues in, it’s not that easy to tell who’s who or what their characters are. We know Nameless is the rebel magician, there’s the boss’s daughter, and there’s the obligatory hard as nails American soldier. There’s a dude with glasses too so he’s a boffin. There are a few more but they’re faceless as well as nameless.
It’s important to note that these “characters” never really become more than their labels which is why Nameless #3 is another issue that fails to make the reader care about what’s happening to the cast. It’s especially problematic as they make first contact with the monsters inside Xibalba and, um, well I did mention “bad things”… Except it’s pretty dispassionate to read.
The comic feels a lot like the recent Ridley Scott film Prometheus, as these explorers enter a gothic alien den, send probes to map the area, and start getting picked off one by one; so, hardly an original story. And spiritual/philosophical space stories have been popular for decades now since Stanley Kubrick’s 2001 up to Christopher Nolan’s Interstellar and beyond. Nameless is a little unusual with all the sigils, glyphs and focus on magic but they’re more of a superficial difference.
It feels a little early to have things go so wrong so quickly but that might be Grant Morrison doing a bait and switch on the story – you initially think it’s astronauts being sent to blow up an asteroid but it becomes something else instead. I’m holding out hope that Morrison will somehow salvage this underwhelming comic with a possible unforeseen new direction, hinted at in the last few pages of the issue.
Chris Burnham’s art is as amazing as it always is. I loved that first page of the giant skull rock formation and there’s some excellent use of perspective once the spacecraft enters the asteroid. His art and Nathan Fairbairn’s colours are the stars of the issue.
With Nameless, Morrison is doing The Invisibles in Space, which is great if you loved The Invisibles, not so much if you didn’t – and I’m in the latter. Nameless #3 is another fumbled issue in a series that isn’t living up to expectations from this high profile creative team.
Writer: Grant Morrison
Artist: Chris Burnham
Colourist: Nathan Fairbairn